Michigan Association of Home Builders and MIOSHA Form Alliance to Protect Residential Construction Workers

Contact: Lori Donlan 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

July 27, 2006 - Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth Director Robert W. Swanson today announced the signing of a strategic alliance between the Michigan Association of Home Builders (MAHB) and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) to protect the safety and health of workers in Michigan's residential construction industry.

The construction industry is one of the most hazardous industries in Michigan. Only about four percent of Michigan's workforce is employed in construction-however, construction fatalities account for more than 40 percent of all fatal workplace accidents.

"We are proud to sign this alliance and embrace its primary goal-to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees in the residential construction industry," said Swanson. "This proactive partnership between labor, industry and government, can save lives by ensuring that worker safety and health plays an integral role in residential construction projects."

Alliances enable organizations committed to workplace safety and health to collaborate with MIOSHA to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG).

Signing the alliance were: Lee Kitson, President, Michigan Association of Home Builders, Lee Kitson Builder Inc.; Robert L. Filka, CEO, Michigan Association of Home Builders; Robert W. Swanson, Director, Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth; and Martha B. Yoder, Acting Director, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"As an industry we need to improve our safety record; as an association we owe it to our members to help them make their job sites safer," said Kitson. "This MIOSHA/MAHB Alliance is an important step in bringing needed safety education and training to our members."

"The Michigan Association of Home Builders is pleased to be teaming up with MIOSHA to make an important difference in construction safety-one with lasting and far reaching effects," said Filka. "Educating employers and workers is the first step to ensuring everyone on the job site returns home safely each evening. We all deserve a safe work environment."

The Michigan Association of Home Builders is the voice of the building industry in the state of Michigan. MAHB is a professional trade association, chartered in 1948 with the National Association of Home Builders, comprised of local home builder associations and their builder and associate members.

"One of the key goals of our MIOSHA Strategic Plan is to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the construction industry," said Yoder. "By joining forces with the Michigan Association of Home Builders, we have the ability to help their members protect their workers from identified safety and health hazards in the residential construction industry."

The key goals of this alliance include:

- Provide the means to a safe and healthy work environment for all employees in the residential construction industry;

- Significantly reduce the number of work site accidents within the residential construction industry;

- Promote increased awareness of worker safety and health benefits to MAHB members;

- Work with 35 local home builders associations throughout Michigan to promote worker safety and health through CET Division education and training opportunities;

- Provide CET safety and health hazard surveys at participating jobsites; and

- Increase communication and collaboration between MIOSHA and the residential construction industry.

While participation by individual employers is voluntary, MIOSHA anticipates that contractors, who embrace the goals of the partnership and who strive to provide a safe and healthy workplace, will experience a decrease in workplace accidents and illnesses, and a decrease in workers' compensation costs.

There are many benefits to participating in an alliance with MIOSHA. Through this program, organizations will:

- Build trusting, cooperative relationships.

- Network with others committed to workplace safety and health.

- Exchange information about best practices.

- Leverage resources to maximize worker safety and health protection.

For more information about forming an alliance or partnership with MIOSHA, please check our website at www.michigan.gov/miosha or contact the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division at 517-322-1809. For more information about the Michigan Association of Home Builders (MAHB), please go to http://ultimate-builder.com/320/, or call Cathy Robinson at 517-322-0224.